Whatcha Been Playing?

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future
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OldBailey
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by OldBailey »

Nearing the end of It Takes Two and I couldn't disagree more with the praise this game is getting, feels very much like a case of confusing production values and polish for good game design. Utterly frictionless and dull, with an incredibly poorly conceived message behind its already teeth clenchingly poor storytelling.

On the flip side, also been playing Astrodogs - unfortunate references to internet dog memes aside, it's a great little Star Fox 64 inspired 3D rail shooter, something we never see any more, and it only cost a tenner! Currently exclusive to PC but coming to switch in the summer. Recommended for high score chasing fun.

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Sinclair Gregstrum
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Sinclair Gregstrum »

Surprised there's only been passing mentions of Outriders on here.

I've had three lengthy sessions with it on Series X so far with a couple of co-op buddies and I'm having an absolute blast with it. Destiny meets Gears meets The Division in all the right ways, but with an aggressiveness to the play style that makes it feel like its own game. Servers are also getting progressively more stable after a rocky launch (no issues at all last night).

It really is a ton if fun, and especially if you've got Game Pass and someone to team up with I can't encourage people enough to give it a try!

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Switchsayer
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Switchsayer »

Downloaded Assassin's Creed: Black Flag for my Switch.

I had it on PS4 about 8 years ago and to this day it's in my top 3 AC games, alongside Valhalla and Odyssey. I'm really enjoying it again. It's a strong entry in the series, all the naval battles are great fun, and exploring sun-kissed beaches and smugglers coves to find treasure is very relaxing.

I'm also quite shocked at how stunning it looks on the Switch. I sometimes can't believe this little device can handle such big games- I thought the same of the Witcher III Switch port. All crammed on to a tiny SD card! Granted, it's an 'old' game but you wouldn't know it.

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Miririn
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Miririn »

While waiting for the "Disco Elysium" patch I've (predictably) been doing a Moderate+ Permadeath and missing collectibles run of "The Last of Us Part II" to get the trophies I don't have and hopefully get the platinum. Also there's some real-life family stuff going on right now and I wanted to replay my most comforting, most familiar game.

I am very biased because I am such a huge fan of the game, but it really speaks to the game's credit that this is my fifth complete playthrough (plus countless replays of various levels and encounters) and I still don't skip any cut scenes, I don't find any level boring, and I'm still finding things (such as "finisher" animations or posters/signs in the background or incidental dialogue from other characters) that I missed. It is such a detailed, polished experience.

It does make me laugh because Moderate+ is so relaxing compared to my Grounded+ run, and I've played certain sections so, so many times now, that to the NPCs I must be a terrifying terminator who knows almost exactly where they are at all times. So many instances of setting up trapmines for "surprise" NPCs who I'm not meant to know are coming.

I did get very cocky and careless, though, because a bloater who is super easy to beat (even on Grounded he never killed me) - because you just have to get a few hits in and then Joel kills him for you - killed me TWICE because I wasn't careful enough. On permadeath mode that's such a pain!

Edit - Also it's popular in some quarters to complain about the writing in this game, but except for one scene I always find a wee bit melodramatic and overwrought (flashback to Ellie finding out a certain spoiler from a certain person), I think the writing, performances and character work in this game is almost unparalleled compared to most other games I've played (and admittedly I have played far fewer games than most Cane and Rinsers... Cane and Rinsies??? :P). The writing is extremely thoughtful at times. For example, the scene where Yara tells Abby the truth about Lev's transgender status could have been very "after school special" and patronising, but it's done in such a gentle, subtle way that completely resonates with what the players already know about Yara and Abby as characters, and it also fleshes out the world/beliefs of the Seraphites, and helps us understand both Yara and Lev's motivations. And it's just this tiny incidental scene that arrives with no fanfare. It's really nicely done. And the game is full of scenes like this with wonderful character work, I really love it.

Naughty Dog has many flaws (I am a devoted over-fan but even I know this) but they are so, so good at small narrative moments. I always remember there's a completely unremarkable gameplay moment in UC4, when Nate is stroppy about Elena and Sam is getting stroppy about Nate's lack of enthusiasm, where for the millionth time in the game so far, Sam helps Nate scale a wall. And when Nate gets to the top, unlike every time so far in the game Sam has previously pulled him up, there's just a little animation of Sam gripping the back of Nate's neck and pulling him close in an affectionate big brother way, as a way of indicating to the player he's noticed and is worried about the growing distance between them, and trying to buck Nate up with a brotherly gesture. It's a tiny, tiny moment in the game (if you paused to take a sip of your drink you would miss it entirely) and it's wonderful. I just think Naughty Dog are almost in another league when it comes to subtle, narrative character work like that.

...here ends my embarrassing and overly earnest ode to the Bad Pups. I feel like I should burst into song or something.

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Truk_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Truk_Kurt »

I think you're right, I've played a lot of games from various developers and would agree that performance and character work are what Naughty Dog do best and are perhaps leaders in the industry in that respect with the possible exception of the lead characters in the Yakuza games which I would highly recommend to you.

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Miririn
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Miririn »

I really should play "Yakuza", shouldn't I. My to-play list grows ever longer....

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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79 »

I'm about 45 hours in to Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch on Switch, and maybe about halfway through the story.

I'm really enjoying it, and I think it's because I'm playing on Switch. I can't see myself sitting down to play this on the TV, but I've been playing it every night whilst watching a movie or TV, just grinding most nights. I only progress the story a bit every couple of days, just been doing side errands and literally wandering the map fighting monsters. It's really low effort, but quite satisfying.

Also, I've just realised you have to unlock a whole row of the merit badge rewards before a new row unlocks. Most the top row pretty much is pointless, so I was saving my merit cards for later rewards, assuming they unlocked as you played the game, but no!

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ReprobateGamer
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ReprobateGamer »

Outriders gnaws at me. I swopped to what I thought would be a disposable character to try out the Technomancer route and I think that playstyle may be more my scene (much more akin to The Division which I hadn't noticed until that point).

But something just isn't feeling right - and I think it's that I'm playing solo. Particularly as I encounter the Captains, I'm really noticing the lack of someone else shooting - and I find I'm having to do that slow retreat to kite them away from the mooks so I can take them down without getting distracted - the lack of a lock on is proving to be an issue. And for a looter game, the loot is remarkably uninteresting.

And honestly I'm getting much the same vibes from Torchlight 3 that I've also started - this one with a couple of terrors watching my every move. It's much more colourful, and more family friendly, but at least it recognises that not every player always has people to link with and the game doesn't (yet) have those points where the lack of a party is noticable.

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stvnorman
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman »

Sinclair Gregstrum wrote: April 13th, 2021, 11:49 am Surprised there's only been passing mentions of Outriders on here.

I've had three lengthy sessions with it on Series X so far with a couple of co-op buddies and I'm having an absolute blast with it. Destiny meets Gears meets The Division in all the right ways, but with an aggressiveness to the play style that makes it feel like its own game. Servers are also getting progressively more stable after a rocky launch (no issues at all last night).

It really is a ton if fun, and especially if you've got Game Pass and someone to team up with I can't encourage people enough to give it a try!
I only mentioned it in passing in my last post because I didn’t have much to add on top of what I’d said previously. I just finished the story though, and I’m completely with you. I had a blast too, whether jumping into random games with others (which has been fine since launch day) or just playing solo. If you’ve got Game Pass I can’t recommend giving it a go enough.

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Sinclair Gregstrum
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Sinclair Gregstrum »

stvnorman wrote: April 14th, 2021, 10:11 pm I only mentioned it in passing in my last post because I didn’t have much to add on top of what I’d said previously. I just finished the story though, and I’m completely with you. I had a blast too, whether jumping into random games with others (which has been fine since launch day) or just playing solo. If you’ve got Game Pass I can’t recommend giving it a go enough.
Nice! You're way ahead of me then - we've not made massive inroads into the story yet I don't think. Certainly a way off completion.

I've been seeing screenshots of people's high level characters on Twitter and a lot of the gear and weaponry seems to have a more organic, otherworldly style compared to the fairly standard looking stuff I'm rocking at the moment. Looks a bit freaky but I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it!

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Jobobonobo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jobobonobo »

The PS store was doing a special offer for a limited time where you can download games that use VR for free. Despite not having a VR set, I checked it out and looked for something good that did not require the pricey peripheral. That is when I saw Thumper. I have always been interested in this title since I seen it years ago so gave it a download.

I have to say, I am not too familiar with rhythm games but I know they are not usually as oppressive as this. This is a brutal, harsh game with an icy cold exterior. Your beetle is constantly ramming through obstacles, bouncing off walls and avoiding destruction by the tip of its little beetle claws. Accompanying this is the most anxiety inducing soundtrack I have ever heard. Crackling, smashing, exploding sounds assault the ears butif you are good enough, harmonizes to a industrial beat. I am liking it a lot but at the same time it is absolutely not a game I would play to relax, it assaults the blood pressure as well as your ear drums. Nearly finished level 4 (final boss requires very good timing) and enjoying it. One of the most unique experiences I have had in gaming for a long time.

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KissMammal
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KissMammal »

Hades.

All I can say so far is that;

a. It's the best Roguelike I've ever played

and

b. I still fundamentally do not enjoy Roguelikes much at all

Don't know if I'll stick with it tbh. Finding it a bit of a repetitive grind already and I've only been playing a couple of hours.

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Simonsloth
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Simonsloth »

Miririn wrote: April 13th, 2021, 2:22 pm I've played (and admittedly I have played far fewer games than most Cane and Rinsers... Cane and Rinsies??? :P).
I think Leon definitely prefers us to be called Cane and Rinsies 🤣

I would second the Yakuza recommendation. The characters are easy to fall in love with and grow attached to and the narrative is compelling. You just need to realise there’s people running around in their underpants and morally questionable minigames.

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Truk_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Truk_Kurt »

I decided to embark on starting the Halo series. A series which has passed me by since I never had the means to play it until now. So with the Master Chief Collection on Game Pass, I downloaded it and have started playing Halo CE.
I'm really impressed with it, I have played a Bungie shooter before in Destiny 2 and I can see the similarities with the basic gunplay and open levels which I'm enjoying. It reminds me of the recent Doom games in that way in that levels are linear but large. I'm also liking the old school feel of it too with stuff like no aiming down sights. The graphical update is also pretty neat. I have been most impressed with the AI though, of both the enemies and your squadmates, I can see what a huge deal this would've been at the time as they seem more intelligent than AI seen in some current shooters.
My only complaints would be that objectives aren't always clear and I really hate how the Warthog controls, I'm sure I will get used to them but it just feels like they could have come up with a better control scheme for it.

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Simonsloth
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Simonsloth »

I am by no means an expert (so I might be mistaken) but I’m pretty sure all the vehicles control similarly throughout the series. It does make sense eventually and one of my favourite bits in the first game is in a warthog.

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stvnorman
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman »

Spent most of the week playing Outriders. Finished the story, played some of the new post-game levels, but mostly mopping up side quests, which I’m finding are often more fun than the story was. Still really enjoying it and will keep going for a bit longer.

Rain on Your Parade just came to Game Pass, and ten or so levels was enough to know it definitely wasn’t my cup of tea. If you like that goose game you might like this, but I really don’t, and as soon as stealth came out to play on top that was the final nail in the coffin for me!

I was planning on knocking Dirt 5 on the head too, but I’m still plodding away in the career mode. Still looking pretty, but not very engaging, which I actually think might have be a large part of the attraction!

Finally, played the first two chapters of Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS+. I finished the original, though I’m not a huge fan and I’m not sure if I’m in this for the long haul or just curiosity yet, but I’m liking it so far.

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Feirsteax
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Feirsteax »

Outriders is pretty fun. Feels like a Gears of War version of Destiny. Jumped in a few random parties and played for a few hours last night.
Not sure how long I'll stick with it.

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KissMammal
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KissMammal »

Truk_Kurt wrote: April 17th, 2021, 9:56 am I decided to embark on starting the Halo series. A series which has passed me by since I never had the means to play it until now. So with the Master Chief Collection on Game Pass, I downloaded it and have started playing Halo CE.
I'm really impressed with it, I have played a Bungie shooter before in Destiny 2 and I can see the similarities with the basic gunplay and open levels which I'm enjoying. It reminds me of the recent Doom games in that way in that levels are linear but large. I'm also liking the old school feel of it too with stuff like no aiming down sights. The graphical update is also pretty neat. I have been most impressed with the AI though, of both the enemies and your squadmates, I can see what a huge deal this would've been at the time as they seem more intelligent than AI seen in some current shooters.
My only complaints would be that objectives aren't always clear and I really hate how the Warthog controls, I'm sure I will get used to them but it just feels like they could have come up with a better control scheme for it.
Not sure if I'm alone on this, but for me the og Halo had a specific atmosphere and a sense of scale and grandeur that was sorely lacking in the sequels. The sheer size of the levels was unlike anything I'd ever seen before and it gave the game a really unique and epic feel. The sequels dropped this entirely in favour of graphical polish and spectacle. Reach came the closest to recreating that feel of the original, but even that felt a bit confined and much more conventional in terms of level design.

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ratsoalbion
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ratsoalbion »

I know what you mean for sure but I think, for me, Halo Reach recaptured something of that.

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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79 »

I've barely touched my PS4 so far this year, don't really know why but just haven't felt like playing anything. But last night I decided to get on with my Assassin's Creed Unity playthrough since I'm not far from the end. I ended up really enjoying it.

I feel like this game has an unfairly poor reputation. I understand a lot of this was due to terrible bugs and performance at launch, but even aside from that barely anyone has much positive to say about it. And I think that's a shame. It's got a few really good ideas. It's the first AC game which actually let's you plan assassinations properly, almost Hitman style. There are different opportunities and ways of doing it, and you can use disguises for the first time in the series, too. And the crowds! The extra 'next gen at the time' power is nowhere more noticable than the huge crowds in the street, its really impressive even today.

I think Unity was just a victim of a series that had become stale, but it did try new ideas, and I think it's still a solid game.

Aside from that, I also - and I've no idea why - decided to download Bloodborne and start a NG+. I ended up playing up to the first boss (Cleric Beast) and getting to the Hunters Dream (with no deaths). Almost certainly won't play through the full game again, but had a really fun hour with it. Might chip away here and there when I fancy it.

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